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4.2 New ways of thinking and acting: systems practice

There are a wide variety of concepts and theories relating to management and managing. This unit is centred on the ideas and techniques that we believe define systems thinking, but it also draws upon concepts and theories from other areas where these are deemed to be useful. On top of this we see systems practice as requiring a readiness to use the experiential model of learning set out by Kolb, bringing theory and practice together in a meaningful way.

It may be helpful to set out what
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2 1 Different conceptions of learning

(Please refer to Reading 2: What is learning?, by Mary Thorpe) Although we spend large amounts of our lives learning, intentionally and otherwise, it is quite unusual to spend any time thinking about what learning actually is. This reading gives you an opportunity to do so, and to consider whether how we choose to learn is always appropriate for what we are trying to learn.

Spending time thinking about what learning is, how we define it and what it involves, is important for two reasons
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1.7 Conclusions

Could both of these students have got more from their involvement with the course if they had taken time to reflect on their goals and their strengths and weaknesses, especially at the beginning of study? Alan, whose reaction to the course was positive, for example, could have learned more about how the course succeeded if he had reflected rather more in the beginning about his initial scepticism and his preference for communicating verbally rather than in writing. What was the reason for his
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Learning outcomes

After you have completed this unit you should be able to:

  • differentiate between and describe dissolution, degredation and corrosion as they affect the deterioration of structural materials;

  • predict electrochemical behaviour between dissimilar metals;

  • explain galvanic corrosion in terms of the electrochemical series;

  • distinguish between the hoop and longitudinal stresses in a pressure-vessel wall, and specify them in terms of the press
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2 That special day

It's that special day in the week again. People begin to gather, set apart by their passionate convictions and the symbols that bind them together. Some stand by and scoff but the like-minded take strength from each other and stride proudly on, indifferent to those who do not share their commitment. For those caught up since birth (the less sympathetic might say ‘indoctrinated’) by their elders' commitment and enthusiasm, this is the climax of their week.

How can an observer convey
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4.1 The killers – portrayal and reality

Activity 5

Read Document II.11, Himmler's speech to the Gauleiter (leaders of the territorial divisions of the Nazi Party, found under the link below) of 6 November 1943, and answer the following questions:

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3.2 Plans for ‘resettlement’ of the Jews

The occupation of western Poland after the brief campaign of 1939 gave the Nazis Lebensraum to colonise with ethnic Germans, some of whom were soon to be repatriated to the Reich (and thence, often reluctantly, to the newly annexed provinces of the Warthgau and Danzig) by new conquests. But the preparation of these provinces for the colonists necessitated the expulsion of a million Poles and Jews, who were driven east to the Nazi-controlled satellite of Poland known as the Ge
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Unit image

Courtesy of Lanterna at Flickr

All other materials included in this unit are derived from conten
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1.8 Conclusion

In conclusion, what is Babylonian mathematics about? Although it is not easy to answer this question precisely, because of the difficulties of interpretation such as you saw with Plimpton 322, the overwhelming impression is of the study and use of numbers, and various techniques for solving problems involving numbers. Where the numbers arise from—whether land measurement, economic questions, idealised geometrical objects (cubes, triangles and so on), or just fairly abstractly—seems
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1.4 A remarkable numeration system

The Babylonian numeral system was described in Section 3 as ‘remarkable’. It is worth spelling out the reasons for this judgement. Although what we notice first is that it was a place-value system (see Box 1), what is perhaps more striking is the coupling of this feature with a ‘floating sexagesimal point’; that is, the lack of any indication about the absolute value of the number. This makes life hard for us in reading the tablets initially, but seems to have given the Babylonians un
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3 Britain in the 1790s

A problem that has exercised historians for many years is, put in its most concise form: why was there no revolution in Britain in the 1790s? The question is a significant one here, because religious factors have formed an important strand in the answers that have been given. The intellectual trend was set by the publication in 1913 of England in 1815, in which the French historian Elie Halévy (1870–1937) argued that the growth of Methodism in this period was a key factor in the Bri
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4.1 Why was our immortality an issue?

When reading about Hume's death you may have been puzzled as to why people became so worked up about Hume's attitude. The question of what, if anything, happens after death is something most of us are at least curious about, just as most of us are curious to know what we will be doing in a few years’ time. But curiosity cannot explain the venom evident in the condemnations of Hume.

The reason for the hostility can be approached by considering the opera Don Giovanni. The opera i
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3.3 The divide over the Church, 1790

The revolutionaries of 1789 also aspired to reform the Catholic Church in France, though not to disestablish it, still less to de-Christianise the country. Many of the clergy themselves favoured reform. In August 1789 the Assembly deprived the Church of its income by abolishing the tithe. In November it decreed the sequestration (nationalisation) of church lands, roughly 10 per cent of all land in France, for public sale. The Assembly was prompted by the same need to raise revenue to pay off
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • assess the specific problems concerning the health of a community;

  • describe how medical knowledge was a resource for, and was shaped by, broader cultural perceptions of the body.


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Figures

Figure 1 Bodleian Library;

Figure 2 Keele University, Turner Collection;

Figure 7 Deutsches Museum, Munich.

The material acknowledged below is contained in The History of Mathematics – A Reader (1987) J Fauvel and
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4 Review

  1. We began by considering the meanings of ‘imagination’ and related terms in everyday contexts, and then looked at the twelve conceptions of imagination that Stevenson distinguishes. This suggested a first definition of ‘imagining’ – ‘thinking of something that is not present to th
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2 The varieties of imaginative experience

What would life be like without imagination? Perhaps, in this very first question, we have found something that is impossible to imagine. Imagination infuses so much of what we do, and so deeply, that to imagine its absence is to imagine not being human. Some people, I am told, think about sex every five minutes. For them, I presume, a sudden loss of imaginative powers would be devastating. Some people (not necessarily the same ones), at certain points in their lives, think about getting marr
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1 Imagination

Imagination, a licentious and vagrant faculty, unsusceptible of limitations and impatient of restraint, has always endeavoured to baffle the logician, to perplex the confines of distinction, and burst the enclosures of regularity.

(Samuel Johnson, Rambler, no. 125, 28 May 1751)

In much of western thought, the imagination has an ambiguous status, seemingly poised between spirit and nature, m
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